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The trio of products highlights the company's desire to move beyond smartphones, following in the footsteps of larger competitors such as Samsung that boast a wider portfolio of gadgets for consumers. But HTC is expanding in its own way -- preferring to partner with Under Armour for the Grip fitness tracker and Valve for the gaming headset Vive. The two products come after HTC unveiled the HTC One M9, an updated version of its flagship smartphone with minor tweaks to the body and new software enhancements.
HTC's announcement comes on a Sunday chock full of news from the likes of Nokia, LG, Huawei and others, Samsung is expected to unveil its next Galaxy S smartphone at an event later this evening, a day before the Mobile World Congress trade show officially kicks off here, HTC's iphone case knife event was of particular importance because its press conference was its chance to reinvent itself as a broader personal technology company, There's a lot at stake with this gamble, Succeeding with a new product means another source of revenue and a fresh direction, Failure, however, could mean it gets stuck in the increasingly competitive smartphone business, one dominated by heavy hitters like Apple..
"It's a new act of our opera," said HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang, referring back to her oft-used analogy of HTC's symphonic blend of design, hardware and software. "'Utopia in Progress (the name of the event) represents the next step of how tech will touch every aspect of our world and ehance how we experience it."There's good reason HTC is look beyond its comfort zone: the smartphone game has been particularly tough for HTC. The fourth-largest smartphone maker in the world in 2012, the company has fallen off the radar and is categorized in the "other" category of companies that no longer merit individual mention, according to IDC.
The desire to transform comes from recognizing that the growth in smartphones isn't what it once was, Beyond Apple at the high end, there is fierce competition in the affordable smartphone segment between hot local start-ups like China's Xiaomi or India's Micromax, and other rivals like Lenovo's Motorola, Huawei and ZTE, "Showing u still got it when it comes to innovation is essential to the brand," said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Kantar WorldPanel, "If they balance the financial side of the investment iphone case knife well, it might just work."Still, HTC is nowhere near abandoning the smartphone business, and its One M9 took center stage on Sunday..
While the previous year's One M8 stretched the amount of metal incasing the smartphone, the M9 saw only minor tweaks and improvements. The shape of the back is altered for a better grip, and the polished edges are gone. But the M9, especially in the gunmetal grey color, looks essentially like the M8. That will make it a hard sell for a company whose defining attribute is its design acumen and attention to aesthetics. The company said that it opted to keep what was working and refine some of the problem areas for M9. One issue is the reputation for a weak camera. The original HTC One and M8 both used an "Ultrapixel" camera that it argued let in more light for clearer photos. But the camera was critically panned and consumers didn't understand why the phone only had 4 Ultrapixels. For the M9, the company utilized a more standard 20-megapixel shooter.
HTC also added a 2,840 mAh battery to the M9, representing a slight improvement over the 2,600 mAh battery in the M8, More of the improvements come in its Sense 7 user interface, iphone case knife which includes new ways to customize themes and a home screen widget that gives you a collection of specific apps depending on whether you're at home, at work or on the go, The widget automatically chooses your collection based on the phone's location, "With only slight changes to the overall design and some tweaks to the specs, the HTC One M9 isn't the mobile revolution some may have been hoping for," said CNET editor Andrew Hoyle, "It is building on an already stunning phone, though -- one that we were extremely keen on -- and completely overhauling an already good product isn't always the right decision."HTC says it's the third generation of its "iconic design" and believes it has stepped up the quality of the build, "M9 makes a statement: You demand the very best," said Drew Bamford, head of the Creative Labs unit for HTC and responsible for the software on the phone..
After HTC identified fitness as an area that it wanted to get into, the company began talking with Under Armour in February. What started as a conversation about a licensing deal -- HTC would build a product and Under Armour would slap its name on it -- evolved into a deeper partnership in which both companies would collaborate more closely. Grip, which represents HTC's second connected product following the October unveiling of its Re camera, was already in HTC's pipeline when the two companies began talking. But HTC worked with Under Armour to make sure the product was integrated into UA Record, the fitness company's digital health and fitness network, which boasts more than 50 million users.
HTC and Under Armour aren't going after more casual consumers who tend to use iphone case knife activity trackers like a FitBit or Jawbone, Instead, it wants to target serious athletes who have a deeper investment in their fitness and exercise regimen, "I'm not saying it's for everyone," said Robin Thurston, head of Under Armour's digital fitness business, "It's for a specific part of the market."The Grip has basic smartphone notifications and can control the music on your phone through a Bluetooth connection, It also has GPS capabilities, which would appeal to more serious runners or cyclists, It has a small touchscreen display that allows you to swipe across and up and down to navigate..